Gupta-owned Oakbay Resources suspends trading on its shares

23 June 2017 - 18:18 By Ernest Mabuza
A logo of Oakbay Investments is seen at the entrance of their offices in Sandton, outside Johannesburg, South Africa April 13, 2016.
A logo of Oakbay Investments is seen at the entrance of their offices in Sandton, outside Johannesburg, South Africa April 13, 2016.
Image: SIPHIWE SIBEKO

The JSE on Friday granted a request by Gupta-owned Oakbay Resources and Energy for a voluntary suspension of the listing of its securities‚ on a temporary basis‚ which will take place with immediate effect.

Oakbay Resources had its accounts closed by the country’s largest banks and was abandoned by its external auditors KPMG and sponsor Sasfin. This followed the rising tide of disclosures about the Gupta family’s dealings in South Africa’s political and business spheres.

“As previously communicated to shareholders‚ the recent resignations of the company’s sponsor‚ transfer secretary and an independent non-executive director (who was also the chairman of the company’s audit committee) has created significant uncertainty around the ability of Oakbay Resources to continue to meet its future obligations in terms of the listings requirements‚” the company announced in the Stock Exchange News Service.

It said as a direct consequence of these circumstances‚ the board believes it would be in the best interests of the company and its shareholders that the listing of its securities on the JSE was temporarily suspended.

“The board of directors remains in the process of evaluating several alternatives available to the company and the shareholders would be informed in due course as to any developments in this regard‚” the company said.

TimesLIVE reported earlier in the day how companies controlled by the family had been dropped by their South African bankers and auditors and public relations firm Bell Pottinger.

Independent non-executive director Mark Pamensky left the company last month.

The family have come under intense scrutiny after a series of exposes‚ based on a cache of leaked emails‚ suggested they were closely linked to prominent politicians and may have improperly benefited from lucrative government deals.

President Jacob Zuma this week‚ under mounting pressure from civil society and opposition parties‚ agreed to institute a judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture.

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